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Monday Odds and Ends

-Freshpet goes viral with “13 Dogs and 1 Cat Eating with Human Hands” (video above).

-Barton F. Graf 9000 added some seasonal additions to its “Dead Mouse Theatre” campaign for Tomcat.

-Italy’s antitrust authority fined TripAdvisor for failing to prevent false reviews.

-The Drum looks at “four publishers who killed their comment sections in 2014.”

-Havas is acquiring experiential/PR agency Formula, which will now be known as Havas Formula.

-Facebook introduces “Find Apps” ad feed.

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22squared Uses Singing Sloth to ‘Save the Americans’

If you love sloths, cheesy musical parodies or the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” you may just appreciate 22squared’s spot for the Costa Rica Tourism Board.

The ad features a reworking of the song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (popularized by The Tokens in 1961), as sung by a chorus of animals, beginning with a sloth. In the spot, entitled “Save the Americans,” the lyrics are changed to address the overworked and in need of a vacation and tell them to visit Costa Rica. Unfortunately, the song becomes a bit grating over the course of the online spot, which clocks in around two minutes. The campaign began running in the US and Canada last week, and includes broadcast, print and online components. According to Adweek, the Costa Rica Tourism Board spent around $3.3 million on the campaign.

Holiday Card Roundup, Part 3: Snow Globes, Treecycling, Focus Groups and More

Don’t worry readers, there’s still plenty of agency holiday cards to sort through, even after parts one and two of our roundup.

For its holiday card, AKQA went the customizable mobile snow globe route. You can check out a trailer above, and head to for the full experience

W+K London may be contenders for most eco-fiendly holiday effort of the year. The agency went around collecting discarded Christmas trees last January, chipped and pulped them, and turned them into this year’s Christmas cards. Treecycling? You can purchase one at, with proceeds going to Trees for Cities. Stick with us after the jump to see efforts from Ogilvy & Mather Paris and Read more

All Ford Wants for Christmas is You in New Spot from Blue Hive Brazil

Blue Hive Brazil put together this holiday spot for Ford, built around the premise of holiday presents receiving people as their gifts.

At this time of year any changes to the holiday ad format are a relief, so Blue Hive’s gift role reversal is a welcome one. The spot opens up on a surreal Christmas village where a teddy bear unwraps a brown package with a blue ribbon to reveal its gift. Occasionally veering from the cute to the creepy, the spot, set to the song “When You Wish Upon a Star,”  eventually arrives at a new Ford driving itself to a new owner. The message, “This Christmas, eevery Ford wishes to have you as a gift appears onscreen, followed by “Merry Christmas” and the “Go Further” tagline. It may seem like an odd way to promote a new vehicle, but the distinct approach helps to distinguish the ad amidst the barrage of forgettable holiday spots for automakers, even while it fails to say much of anything about why exactly you drive off in a Ford this holiday season. Read more

The Martin Agency Revisits ‘Camels’ for Geico

According to Adweek, The Martin Agency’s “Hump Day” ad for Geico was the brand’s most viral ever, so it’s no surprise that the agency (who have been known to recycle its ideas for the brand) riffs on the spot’s popularity in its latest ad, entitled “Camels.”

The painfully self-referential spot is set in a zoo, where a group of camels are relentlessly barraged with shouts of “What day is it?” and “Hump day!” from visitors. One of the camels remarks glumly that it isn’t even Wednesday, followed by the voiceover announcing, “If you’re a camel, you put up with this all the time. It’s what you do. If you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, it’s what you do.”

While the “Hump Day” character was ubiquitous enough to make the ad’s reference obvious, imagining that throes of people loved a previous campaign enough to harass camels over it comes across as more than a tad self-congatulatory. And like a lot of Geico schticks, the joke has long since worn itself out, making trotting it out once again here (new self-referential spin and all) feel tired. Read more

i.d.e.a. Promotes Higher Education for National University

San Diego-based i.d.e.a. has launched a new campaign promoting non-profit National University, centered around a series of broadcast spots which debut tomorrow.

One of these spot, “Sports” (featured above), delves into the neuropsychology of sports fandom, offering a new view on an everyday activity. Another live action spot, “Spiders,” meanwhile, examines the origns of arachnophobia. Each of these ads, along with graphic spots, ends with the line, “Think you don’t have time to learn something new? You just did,”before promoting viewers to continue educating themselves at The campaign aims to promote National University as a way to earn a degree around a busy schedule, as classes are offered both on-site and online. In addition to the broadcast spots (which we have a couple more of after the jump), the campaign also includes print, outdoor, and digital elements. Read more

BBH NY Visits ‘Hotel’ for Axe

Unilever’s Axe brand has been moving away from the sex-fueled image that first gave it notoriety and eventually turned into self-parody as the brand aims to attract a slightly older demographic than the hormonal adolescents those ads courted, and BBH New York’s latest effort for the brand’s White Label line, “Hotel” (featured above) continues that trend. The ad will make its broadcast debut on January 1st, during the College Football Playoffs.

“Hotel” follows a well-dressed man and those impressed by him, with voiceover providing their internal monologues as they guess just what it is the man does. These range from a woman who assumes he’s a movie to star, to a young boy who believes he’s  super-spy, to an elderly gentleman who thinks he’s a comedian. Things go over-the-top when a dog offer the interpretation that “No, he won Best in Show.” At the end of the ad, the man’s true profession is revealed.

The strategy, clearly, is to promote Axe not simply for sex appeal but instead as a sign of distinction and a confidence-booster, as exemplified by the tagline, “How you feel says it all.”

“If you’ve ever been in a restaurant in L.A. and someone with confidence walks in the door, the whole restaurant turns and looks at that guy,” Ari Weiss, executive creative director of BBH, New York, told AdAge. “There’s always this assumption that he must be famous.”

David&Goliath Present ‘Showdown’ with Blake Griffin for Kia

After teaming up with LeBron James back in October, David&Goliath returned to working with Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin in its latest effort for Kia, entitled “Showdown.”

The spot features Griffin cast in a Western, but instead of riding a horse he improvises and rides in on a Kia Optima instead. Initially reluctant to the change, Griffin eventually convinces his director to go with the decision. All the while Griffin plays on the kind of goofy persona he’s displayed in the past, such as David&Goliath’s September effort for VIZIO. While fans of Griffin’s humor will find plenty to like, whether this translates to casual viewers will depend largely on how much they can get behind the ad’s premise.  The best moment of the 60-second spot doesn’t come until the very end, with a throwaway line that throws extra light onto the ridiculousness of an NBA star in the American frontier. Read more

Monday Morning Stir

-DNA Seattle and PEMCO show the Seahawks some “Yelfie” love for the holiday season (video above).

-The New York Times prepares to launch a digital division in London.

-Scotts Miracle-Gro launched a media agency review.

-Google rolled out a new “search visits” tool which estimates how many people visited a store after seeing a search ad.

-Take a look at “…the Holiday Season’s Most Effective Ads,” according to AdAge.

-The Drum asks readers to pick the best and worst ads of 2014.

-Maurice Lévy says he will retire “in the next five years.”

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